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The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.
In FY 07, 45 grants were awarded and it is estimated that 52 grants will be awarded in FY 08 for the Community Economic Development program. For the Rural Community Facilities program, 9 grants were awarded in FY 07 and it is anticipated the same number of grants will be awarded in FY 08.
Uses and Use Restrictions
Federal funds awarded under the Secretary's Discretionary Authority may be used for activities that: improve the quality of the economic and social environment of low-income residents by providing resources to eligible applicants, by arresting tendencies toward dependency, chronic unemployment and community deterioration in urban and rural areas; and by addressing needs of water and wastewater treatment in Rural Communities.
Community Economic Development grants are awarded to cover project costs for (1) startup or expansion of business, physical improvements, or commercial activities.
(2) Capital expenditures such as the purchase of equipment or real property; (3) allowable operating expenses; and (4) loans or equity investments.
Expenditures must result in the creation of employment or business opportunities for low-income individuals.
Generally, the project must be completed within 36 months for non-construction projects and 60 months for contruction projects.
Projects must document public/private partnership mobilizing cash and/or in-kind contributions; and be located in areas characterized by poverty and other indicators of socioeconomic distress, such as high levels of unemployment, or high levels of violence, gang activity, crime, drug use and/or low-income individuals or designation as an Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community (EZ/EC).
Rural Community Facilities grants are awarded to provide training and technical assistance to small, rural communities concerning their water and waste water treatment needs.
RF grants focus on the development and upgrading of small water and wastewater systems in low-income rural areas.
Types of services provided included training of persons responsible for community water and wastewater facilities; assisting communities with problem-solving and planning for facilities; producing and disseminating publications, newsletters, videos, and training manuals about rural waste and wastewater systems; and assisting rural communities in leveraging Federal, State, local, and private sector financing for facilities.